Liz O. Baylen—LA Times/Getty Images
By Martha C. White
April 27, 2016

Low-wage workers in today’s economy often face a double whammy: They’re paid as little as $7.25 an hour, and they’re often unable to find full-time work even with these paltry wages. The conventional wisdom is that it’s more cost-efficient for companies to hire an army of part-time shift workers, especially with the Affordable Care Act mandate to provide health insurance for full-time employees.

But as the Wall Street Journal reported, some retail and fast food outlets are realizing these cost-cutting tactics come with hidden expenses, while hiring full-time workers yields some monetary benefits that aren’t immediately noticeable just from looking at a spreadsheet.

Full-time workers tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, which improves customer service. They quite less often too, so companies don’t have to replace and train as many new workers. And as their on-the-job experience builds, these workers perform better.

Gas and convenience store chain Sheetz and restaurant chain Buffalo Wings & Rings are two companies that have figured this out, even though both operate in sectors where most of their competitors rely on a part-time workforce, according to the Journal. At Sheetz, has more than half of the positions are filled by full-time workers, and the company saved nearly $1 million in a year on recruitment and training expenses because of lower turnover among its full-time staff.

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Buffalo Wings & Rings has increased its full-time headcount to more than a third of its workforce, and its training costs fell by 25%. The strategy is working in the interests of the company, which has seen an average of 6% higher sales per hour and significantly lower absenteeism rates from full-timers.

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